Mount Hutton, Tekapo, Canterbury – New Zealand

Friolero is a Spanish word that means sensitive to the cold. It can also describe someone that’s especially prone to feeling the effects of the cold. However, if there’s one place on earth a person wouldn’t necessarily mind being friolero nearly as much as usual, it’s the mountains. In the mountains, the air isn’t just cold. It’s clean, crisp, and pure as well. The simple act of breathing it makes you feel refreshed and renewed from the inside out. You only think you know what it feels like to breathe pure, cleansing air. Then you spend some time near mountains and realize you had no idea.

When you’re standing in a place like that admiring a positively magical view, the drudge of everyday life seems very far away – a distant dream had once upon a time and only marginally remember. That’s exactly the way I felt the day I captured this shot at Central Lakes, New Zealand. It was autumn and the gentle breeze from the nearby mountains was brisk and clean. The waters of the lake in front of me were clear, blue, and almost completely still. A few ripples skating gracefully across its crystalline surface were the only evidence that the breeze was blowing at all.

As I stood admiring the perfect facsimile of Mt. Hutton reflected on the lake’s mirror-like surface, the barest hint of autumn sun touched my face. The sun was preparing to set, bathing the surrounding landscape in its golden light as it slowly sank lower in the sky. The sensation of that setting sun ray on my face was gentle to be sure, but it warmed me considerably nevertheless there by the cool, clear lake and the nearby mountains. That’s the beauty of autumn – the interplay of warm and cool, earth and sky.


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